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Paper Review #26: Kinumomi

Edited by Sara Adams

Our fifth chapter in the Japanese section is about Kinumomi (きぬもみ), also known as Rhinoceros Hide.

Just like most of the Japanese papers we've reviewed so far, it is produced by Takeo and cut, packed and distributed by Toyo.

It is made out of ECF (elemental chlorine free) pulp – as most modern papers are – and should therefore age very gracefully and slowly. As you might conclude from the name already, it has a unique, silkly texture with many wrinkles.


  1. Every shop supply a different set of colors.
    Thickness: The paper weighs 107 and has a thickness of 157 microns. For comparison, Elephant Hide weighs 110gsm and is 135 microns thick. So, with a thickness ratio of 0.681, it isn't as dense as Elephant Hide with 0.815.
  2. Sizes: You can find full sheets at 109.1cm × 78.8cm, as well as pre-cut squares with a side length of 70cm (27.6in), 50cm (19.7in), 35cm (13.8in), 24cm (9.5in) or 23cm (9in).
  3. Colors: We identified at least 15 different colors, the selection differs in the various shops. Most colors are suitable for animals, and include ivory, white, gray, black, brown, light brown, ocher, yellow, green, blue, and red. The colors complement the paper's stony texture nicely.
  4. Paper Coloring or Colorability: I colored the red/orange sheet with a green Folkart acrylic paint. The paper curled a bit, but dried flat. The paint did not bleed through to the other side. The proportions changed a little – the 17.5 cm paper expanded by 0.5 mm.
  5. Texture: the surface is gently crumpled. The paper is embossed throughout, visible on both sides. On the front the wrinkles make small mountains, on the reverse craters. It well deserves its alias Rhino Hide, indeed resembling an animal hide.
  6. Photogenic: The paper is a real beauty. It was easy to capture its unique texture. The embossed surface is perfect for folding animals.
  7. Aging and Wear and Tear: The tear machine reveals this is a weaker paper, scoring at 462 and 628. For comparison, Elephant Hide scored almost double (1130), while Printer Paper was in a similar range (580/510). Importantly, we all experieced a tear during our test folds. We do not have any experience with aging or color fading, but as the paper is acid-free it should last. 5 out of 10.
  8. Memory: Very high. Creases are sharp and evident. However, the paper is very thick, so a preliminary base won't stay flat, but it will open up. 8 out of 10.
  9. Forgiveness: Almost perfect – you can reverse folds with no effort at all. 9.5 out of 10.
  10. Tensile Strength: We refer here to the maximum stress the paper can undergo while being stretched or pulled. With the grain, the paper endured 16.3kg, stretching by 3.7mm before tearing. In contrast, against the grain, the paper tore at 3.9 kg already, stretching by 11mm! The values are extremely contrasting, with the grain surprisingly strong, against the grain not impressive at all. To put this into perspective, Elephant Hide tore at 15kg and 7kg respectively, Printer Paper at 7kg and 2.9kg. 8 out of 10.
  11. Bending Resistance: This section rates the amount of force you need to apply to get a sharp crease and how strong the paper is while being curved. The results, 298 and 73, are a little lower than those for Elephant Hide (295/120), which has a similar paper weight. As with tensile strength, the difference between with and against the grain is much more pronounced, though! 8 out of 10.
  12. Price group: Moderate - fine folding - for showing in a monthly meeting.
  13. Where to buy:

Test results

Action Model

Flapping Bird, 10×10cm

The paper works fine for simple models.

You really notice a difference between folding with and against the grain. When folding against the train, the fold lines tend to distort. Folding with the grain is much easier and cleaner. You can see this in the beak, where only one side is sharp.

The action element works nicely.

Modular/Unit Origami

Flowery Qube by Ilan Garibi , 6 units, 17.5×17.5cm

The high bending resistance keeps the modules together tightly.

This is a simple model and it's easy enough to fold. Yet again I felt a huge difference between folding with or against the grain. Folding against the grain, you must break the paper slowly while forcing the crease. It is a real battle to make a straight crease throughout. Forming the flowery part of the model, on the other hand, showed the paper's good nature. You can sink and shape the petals easily. Assembly was a bit of a struggle, as you have to put all jumping flaps into place. However, once they're all where they belong, the model is stable.


Pineapple tessellation by Ilan Garibi, 35×35cm

It's an interesting texture for tessellations and the paper is responsive, too.

When folding the 26 division grid I got a sense of a plastic-like paper. Maybe it's because of the way the paper curves when you align edge with edge, or the smooth feel of the paper when you press it down. Moreover, creasing against the grain really breaks the paper, which makes the paper very weak. Reversing the folds was easy. The diagonal precreases easily fell into the right place, connecting intersections of creases.

The first phase of the collapse went smoothly. The paper didn't feel pasticy anymore at all, and responded well to my fingers' manipulations. The second phase was similarly pleasant, a nice surprise, with the molecules snapping into place with very little effort.

The final result is very pleasing to look at.

3D models

Rabbit by Hideo Komatsu, 17.5×17.5cm

It's relatively easy to do the 3D shaping.

I chose a sheet that's slightly larger than recommended for this model (15cm), as the paper is a bit thicker. The only place that slowed me down was the shaping of the head, specifically the ears. I did manage to squash-fold them and tuck them into the head. The round shape of the body holds well, but the side flaps keep on jumping out. The tension of the paper is a bit too high for the flaps to stay attached to the sides. All in all, there are more pros then cons here, and the final model is stable and beautiful.

Hippo by Hideo Komatsu, 35×35cm

The texture is perfect for pachyderms!

The paper is thick, thicker than you'd expect a 107gsm paper to feel. There is a major difference between folding with and against the grain. Against the grain breaks the paper in an uneven edge. It's better, almost necessary, to sharpen the crease with a bone folder. The thickness of the paper is a problem, especially when the layers add up. Still, it's maneagable even with eight or more layers. In most of the steps I enjoyed the stiffness and the agility of the paper. I could stretch it without fearing the paper would tear. And reversing a fold or swivelling along precreased lines was a breeze. The paper remembers the position of the creases and jumps to them gladly. Unfortunately, I couldn't lock the tail, as too many layers came together. And after meddling with the upper jaw, perhaps too much, the paper tore in the center.

Getting the full shape of the body was easy, the paper keeps its shape. This was the first time I folded this model, and the paper helped me, allowing me to play with it while staying rigid and responsive.

Rhino by Quentin Trollip, 35×35cm;

A rhino from Rhinoceros Hide.

This time Guy Loel joined us as a guest tester. He is an origami enthusiast from OASIS.

The paper is thick, it feels even thicker than it really is. YOu have to put some effort in to get the fold line exactly where you want it. It's like the paper fights back. But the moment you manage to get the fold, it is like magic – it stays where it is forever. Reversing was surprisingly easy, easier than Elephant Hide!

Places where you have many layers are problematic. The head kept on opening and refused to keep the shape I wanted. And the paper tore in the back (above the front legs) when I folded the model in half, caused by the many layers.

This is an intermediate model, and I think more complex than that will be impossible for this paper. Yet I loved the paper's essence, and the final look is gorgeous!

Wet Folding

Baby Elephant by Evi Binzinger, 25×25cm

Wet folding helps with shaping the model.

This model has few layers and shaping can be done with the help of wet folding. All fold lines are very visible and easy to reverse. The paper was not forgiving at all and every mistake is hard to correct. While shaping, the fibers' direction is obvious and stands in your way. After only slightly dampening the paper with some water spray, I was surprised to see that one side was highly shapeable while the other was almost too soggy.

Fox Terrier by Francisco Javier Caboblanco, 17.5×17.5cm

When dry, the paper holds the desired shape.

Although this model does not require for wet folding, the final shape can really use the stabilising effect of it. The paper absorbs the water slowly; it took a while before it became soggy. The same applies to drying, it went slower than usual. Still, the paper behaved nicely when dampened, and could still be handled and shaped. After drying, the model is set in the wanted position.

Final verdict

The papers we are testing now are becoming gradually more limited in the way we can use them for origami folding. Rhinoceros Hide is such a thick paper, that it has a totally different behavior between folding with and against grain. The paper is mostly suitable for 3D, simple to moderate models. Modulars that don't require too many units are an option, but not a natural one. The paper also shouldn't be too small. For tessellations, it is surprisingly good. Again, you shouldn't aim for small grids, but rather ensure the grid lines are at least 1 cm apart. Then you'll enjoy the process, as well as the result. We didn’t even try complex models. There is no need to waste time or paper on such attempts; doomed to fail. The wet folding test was done only while shaping the models, and we had different opinions about it. Bottom line: it’s doable and useful.

We found around 20 models folded from this paper in Flickr. All are intermediate models, 3D animals like rhinos, elephants, a gorilla and a bulldog. We didn't discover any tessellations or folds from other genres.

Why should you buy it?

If you want to really match up the texture of a paper with the animal you're folding, this is the perfect choice for rhinos and elephants and such.

Bottom line: perfect for rhinos!

Paper Thickness (gsm) Size Color palette Texture Aging Memory Forgiveness Tensile Strength Bending Resistance Price group
Kinumomi 107 109.1cm × 78.8cm; 23cm, 24cm, 35cm, 50cm, 70cm 15 Like rhino hide Unknown 8 9.5 8 8 3
Roma Stone 120 109.1cm × 78.8cm; 23cm, 24cm, 35cm, 35.6cm, 70cm 4 Like marble Unknown 9 9.5 8 8 3
Golden River 81 109.1cm × 78.8cm; 15cm, 23cm, 24cm, 35cm, 70cm 19 Leather look Unknown 9 9.5 8 7.5 3
Biotope 60 109.1cm × 78.8cm; 15cm, 24cm, 35cm, 70cm 18 Solid, slightly rough Years 9 9.5 6 6 3
Karaperapisu 42 93.9cm×63.6cm; 15cm, 30.5cm, 40cm, 60cm 4 Iridescent Unknown 9 8 4 4 4
O-Gami ~25, ~85 55.9cm×71.1cm 32 Handmade Many years 9.5/9 9/7 9.5 9/7 5
Clean Room Paper 66 US letter, A3, A4 Limited Smooth Unknown 9.5 9 6 7 3
Efalin 115 70cm×100cm 24 Fine Linen, New Linen, Crash, Smooth Many years 9 8 9.5 7 3
Lokta ~50 varies; e.g. 45cm×45cm, 50cm×65cm Many Handmade Many years 6 7.5 9.5 6 4
Bible 35-50 B1, A4 white Smooth Many years 7 7.5 8.5 6 2
Sato Gami 80 15cm, 35cm, full sheets 6 Rough and Fibery Unknown 9 9 7 8 4
Glassine 40 10cm, 15cm, 20cm, A4, 70×100cm 11 Smooth Unknown 9.5 6 8 4 3
Unryu 27 40cm, 60cm 10 Hand-made Many years 7.5 8 10 5 4
Skytone 90, 176 A4, 63.5cm×96.5cm 12 Smooth, marble-like Unknown 8 9 7 8.5 3
Kami 60 7.5cm, 15cm, 30cm 200+ Smooth, a bit shiny Many years 8 8 7 8 1
Ingres 90 B1, B2, A4 5 (previously 21) Rough Years 8 8 7.5 8.5 2
Nicolas Terry Tissue Foil 50 15cm, 20cm, 30cm, 40cm, 60cm 8 hues Glittery; handmade look Unknown 8 8 9 8 4
Onion Skin 35 A4; Letter; 84.5×64.4cm White Cockled Many years 8 5 8.5 5 2
Kraft 35 15cm; 30cm; 48cm; 35cm; 40×60cm Light brown Smooth and a little shiny on one side Unknown 9 5 8 4 1
Crumpled 48-51 64cm by 64cm 28 hues, plus 12 pearled Bumps Less than a year 8 6 4 4 2
Stardream 110-340 (120 tested) 72cm by 102cm 33 hues Smooth and sparkly Years 9 9 7 9.5 3
Origamido 10-100 40cm by 50cm and more Very broad Varies Many years 5 to 9 6 to 8 10 2 5
Printer Paper 50-120 (80 tested) A0-A7, B and C equivalents, ANSI. Many others Mainly white, but many colors smooth and dull Few years 7 9 4 4 1
Japanese Foil 50 various from 3cm up to 50cm squares 12 colors smooth and shiny Many years 10 4 5 6 1
Tant 78 7.5cm; 15cm; 30.5cm; 35cm; 110×80cm 100 colors Mildly rough Many years 9 8 6 5 2
Elephant Hide 110 A4; 70cm×100cm 7 colors smooth Many years 10 7 10 10 3
Paper Classic Action Tessellation Complex Modular 3D Wet Folding Final score
Kinumomi n/a n/a 8 n/a 8 9.5 n/a 9
Roma Stone n/a 7 9 n/a 8 9.5 n/a 9
Golden River 8 n/a 8.5 6 8.5 9 n/a 8
Biotope n/a n/a 8.5 9 9 9 n/a 9
Karaperapisu n/a n/a 8.5 9 n/a 9 n/a 9
O-Gami n/a n/a 9 8.5 n/a 9 8.5 9-
Clean Room Paper 8 10 9 6 6 10 n/a 8
Efalin 7 9.5 9 5 6 9.5 9 8
Lokta n/a n/a 7 8 n/a 8 n/a 8
Bible 8.5 7.5 8 8.5 6 8 n/a 8
Sato Gami 8 9 9 6 9 8 n/a 8.5
Glassine 8 8.5 9 7 9.5 7 n/a 8
Unryu n/a n/a n/a 9 n/a 9 n/a 9
Skytone 8 8.5 9 9 9 9 8.5 9
Kami 8.5 8 8 7 9 7.5 7.5 8
Ingres 7 8.5 8 7 7 8 8 7.5
Nicolas Terry Tissue Foil 9 8.5 8.5 9.5 8 9 9.5 9+
Onion Skin 8 8 7.5 8.5 6 8 n/a 8
Kraft 8 7 8 9 6 8 n/a 7.5
Crumpled 8 7.5 8.5 8.5 7 8 n/a 8
Stardream 8.5 8.5 9 7.5 7.5 9 9 9
Origamido 8 7.5 7.5 9.5 n/a 9 n/a 9
Printer Paper 7.5 7.5 6 5 6 6.5 n/a 6
Japanese Foil 9 9 6 8 8.5 8 n/a 7
Tant 9 8.5 9 8 9 8 7.5 8
Elephant Hide 8.5 9 10 8 8.5 9.5 9.5 9.5